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Weekly Vision: November 12, 2017

The Weekly Vision is a collection of stories that are worth consuming as whole, or just not worth the time editing. You’ll find out either way.

1) Harvey Weinstein hired an army of private investigators, including ex-Mossad agents, to track actresses and journalists

2) Seeing Different – A Short Film on Stained Glass Craftsman Norbert Sattler

3) Jony Ive on Apple’s new HQ and the disappearing iPhone (fantastic photography)

4) The tension between creativity and productivity

5) Colourful cabinetry offsets the white interior of this Bauhaus-era apartment

How much does a kilogram weigh?

Stefania Pandolfi, reporting for CERN:

The Kilogram doesn’t weigh a kilogram any more.

Together with six other units – metre, second, ampere, kelvin, mole, and candela – the kilogram, a unit of mass, is part of the International System of Units (SI) that is used as a basis to express every measurable object or phenomenon in nature in numbers. This unit’s current definition is based on a small platinum and iridium cylinder, known as “le grand K”, whose mass is exactly one kilogram. The cylinder was crafted in 1889 and, since then, has been kept safe under three glass bell jars in a high-security vault on the outskirts of Paris.

There is one problem: the current standard kilogram is losing weight. About 50 micrograms, at the latest check. Enough to be different from its once-identical copies stored in laboratories around the world. 

Fascinating; sometimes we just take certain bits of knowledge for granted, such as not realising that the kilogram like any scale of measurement is ultimately referencing a certain object.

The genius behind KFC’s Twitter account

This “news” is over a month ago but better late than ever.

And how classy was it to wait until someone figured this out?

Weekly Vision: November 05, 2017

The Weekly Vision is a collection of stories that are worth consuming as whole, or just not worth the time editing. You’ll find out either way.

1) The $12,000 Marc Newson Hourglass for Hodinkee

2) Rural Italian residence combines traditional stone exterior with contemporary details

3) Private home with flamed wood facade

4) Marrakech museum with lace-like brickwork facade

5) Foster + Partners’ Apple Store in Chicago features huge glass walls and a carbon fibre roof

Can Face ID on the iPhone X be tricked?

Jonathan Morrison, another popular YouTuber, with a fun video trying his hand at fooling Face ID on the new iPhone X. He does go over the top with his props, but in the end he does manage to give a fairly conclusive idea of what does and does not work with Face ID.

YouTube really is changing the way we consume content; people are generating new and different bite sized pieces of materials, something which was quite hard to convey in a pure text or image format.

Oh, and of course someone has already covered whether this works with twins.

Google Pixel 2: Reviews round-up

Dieter Bohn for The Verge:

Without fail, every person who has picked up the Pixel 2 XL has said virtually the same thing: “It feels like it’s made out of plastic.” I said it myself when I first held it. Of course, neither the Pixel 2 nor the Pixel 2 XL are made out of plastic. They’re made out of Gorilla Glass and aluminum, just like every other high-end phone these days.

But Google coated all that aluminum with a textured finish that hides most of the antenna lines and also makes the phones easier to grip. Google took what could have been a visually impressive design and covered it up in the name of ergonomics. It literally made a metal phone feel like a plastic one. It chose function over form.

The Pixel 2 has many, many things going for it. Were it not for a few problems — the screen, the slightly inelegant design, and (yes) the lack of a headphone jack — it might have received the highest score we’ve ever given a phone. As it is, it’s a great phone, but not quite a home run.

At nearly every turn, with both the hardware and the software, Google made that design decision again and again [choosing function over form]. There have been a few times when I wish the company had risked a little more razzamatazz, but mostly I’ve been appreciating the focus on improving the basics.

Chris Velazco for Engadget, on the camera quality:

I find it difficult to make sweeping statements like “This is the best phone out there, period,” because such generalizations are prone to be wrong for a lot of people. That said, I can safely say the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are the best Android phones I’ve used all year (and I’ve used a lot of them). While I don’t agree with all of Google’s choices, something special is bound to happen when a company as smart as Google takes such strict control over how its vision of smartphones should be realized.

Ron Amadeo for Ars Technica:

Every single animation goes off without a hitch. Scrolling is flawless. There are additional, exclusive animations on the home screen like bounce scrolling and folder opening that add to the buttery smooth feel. It’s amazing—head and shoulders above every other Android phone out there.

With the Pixel, you get an iPhone-like update experience, a cohesive software package, and super fast UI performance. It offers a harmonious device with a single, cohesive design language and none of the junk that slows your phone down. In 2017, that’s enough to merit the title of “Best Android phone.”

David Pierce, for Wired:

Last year, I called the original Pixel the best phone on the planet. I’m hesitant to do so again, only because the iPhone X comes out in two weeks. (I’ll update this review when that happens.) Here’s what I can say for sure, right here and right now: There’s no better Android phone, anywhere, than the Pixel 2. Especially that black and white Pixel 2 XL. I mean, have you seen that thing? Come on.

My takeaway:

1) The Pixel 2 XL screen made by LG is sub-par compared to the Pixel 2 screen made by Samsung. The issues people are complain about include subdued colours (which I prefer), off-axis colour imbalances (which is not such a big deal since you view the phone head-on) and reported issues of burn-in (which is a huge problem), the latter of which is being reportedly fixed in a software update.

2) Experience-wise, best Android phone, hands-down.

3) I wondered how they managed to remove the antenna bands. Turns out they didn’t, it’s simply hidden by a soft-touch layer. And I worry it behaves like most soft-touch layers i.e. starts to peel off after a couple of years (unless you use a cover).

4) Despite Google’s claim to the contrary, the two Pixels are not identical. One has a better ratio of screen estate and battery life, while the other has a better screen. Worse yet, there’s no clear winner.

5) The industrial design has started to grow on me. I do think Google is not there to create the most ‘elegant’ design but more akin to refined playfulness. Plus, there’s much more to look forward to for next year after they acqui-hired a sizeable chunk of HTC.

Weekly Vision: October 29, 2017

The Weekly Vision is a collection of stories that are worth consuming as whole, or just not worth the time editing. You’ll find out either way.

1) Wirecutter Review: The best paper towel for mopping up tears

2) “I Quit Showering, and Life Continued”: We spend two full years of our lives washing ourselves. How much of that time (and money and water) is a waste?

3) Inexplicable tech: This ramen fork will play noises to cover up your gross slurping

4) Al-Jawad Pike combines brick, concrete and timber for restrained London home extension

5) Ten lessons from a maker

Weekly Vision: October 22, 2017

The Weekly Vision is a collection of stories that are worth consuming as whole, or just not worth the time editing. You’ll find out either way.

1) Dictionary Stories, a book of short stories composed entirely of dictionary example sentences

2) A project that explores how the full moon is photographed through different mediums and shared (on Flickr in this case)

3) Amazon’s new Kindle Oasis is waterproof and has a bigger screen

4) How much the inside of an iPhone has changed in ten years

5) Eric Clapton performs ‘Wonderful Tonight’ live. Brilliant riff (as expected) with a vocal solo at the end (not expected).

The Steve Jobs Theatre, in pictures

Even though Apple had a press event at this venue this September, it was hard to gauge the look and feel of the lobby and demo area —Recode did offer a photographic tour — due to the crowd and everyone vying to get their shots in.

Not to say that the entrance lobby space would be compromised with internal columns but it does look unbelievable to have a roof so large be supported by only the peripheral glazing members. The trick: Carbon fibre, a smart structural bracing, and pure technological progress.

Bonus: It isn’t be too evident in the pictures, but the white pads below the Apple Watches follow the curve of the table, which follow the curve of the demo room, which follow the curve of the entire theatre. Chalk that up to “immaculate attention to detail” or “plain old OCD”, as you like.

(Via Reddit)

Twitter: A pretty hate machine

Mike Monteiro, on Twitter’s evolution from a first person’s account:

Twitter was built at the tail end of that era. Their goal was giving everyone a voice. They were so obsessed with giving everyone a voice that they never stopped to wonder what would happen when everyone got one. And they never asked themselves what everyone meant. That’s Twitter’s original sin. Like Oppenheimer, Twitter was so obsessed with splitting the atom they never stopped to think what we’d do with it.

Twitter, which was conceived and built by a room of privileged white boys (some of them my friends!), never considered the possibility that they were building a bomb. To this day, Jack Dorsey doesn’t realize the size of the bomb he’s sitting on. Or if he does, he believes it’s metaphorical. It’s not. He is utterly unprepared for the burden he’s found himself responsible for.

This one is worth reading in full (apart from the dickbars Medium keeps trying to force on people reading without the app installed)

(Via Jason Kottke)

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